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Long Sutton market traders set to stay in town centre

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A deal to keep market traders in Long Sutton town centre looks to be in sight after a change of heart by county highway officers about its current location.

Fears that traders could be moved from Market Place to a car park behind Co-op Funeral Services, off West Street, in order to meet social distancing guidelines were reported in our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press, last Tuesday.

A potential refusal by Lincolnshire County Council highways department for Market Place to be closed on Fridays so that the market can take place was also a reason given by South Holland District Council to traders, parish and district councillors for Long Sutton.

Long Sutton town centre and the view from High Street.
Long Sutton town centre and the view from High Street.

But during a district council cabinet meeting on Tuesday, it was revealed that permission for Market Place to be closed temporarily on market days would now be given, with the prospect of the market reopening on Friday, July 3.

Derek O'Sullivan, of F.E. Walton and Son Funeral Directors, in Market Place, said: "The market is the livelihood of the town and it need to be in Market Place.

"It's essential to keep the market where it is because that's where the trade comes from, both in terms of casual and your Friday footfall.

"We don't want it to be lost to the car park because that would be the end of it, along with the end of trade in the town."

Coun John Clarey, chairman of Long Sutton Parish Council, said: "I'm very pleased and I think the majority of people in Long Sutton and the surrounding areas will be pleased as well.

"An awful lot of people come into the town on Fridays and they will be able to go to the market, then use the shops."

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, the district council's portfolio holder for emergency planning, said: "We've had to expend a great deal of time, effort and resources to make the market work in relation to COVID-19 regulations.

"If we couldn't do that, the market wouldn't be allowed to proceed and so we're going to make sure that we do what's needed to keep people safe and operate the market in accordance with the regulations

"We already have some contingency plans as to how it will work and so we hope to achieve in market in Long Sutton on July 3."

District councillor Jack Tyrrell, who raised the concerns of traders with council leaders, said: "My fear was that if they moved the market into the car park, it would be kept there.

"The market has been in Long Sutton for 800 years and all of us want it back in the town.

"All I ever wanted was to get the best result for Long Sutton.

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